Diana was on the beach when the plane crashed, and she immediately raced out and pulled a man from its wreckage. As she carried him to shore, she noticed his appearance; he was blond and handsome, and he wore a uniform of blue.
“Trevor? Steve Trevor,” she read as she retrieved his identity papers, for Hippolyta had taught her some of the languages of man’s world.
She defied her mother’s wishes by personally nursing him back to health and listening by his bedside as he spoke. And how he spoke! He was a charmer, and he told her of a life beyond her own experience. He spoke of cities that rose skyward and of machines whose science challenged even the magic of the Amazons. Most of all, he smiled and laughed and displayed a boyishness that was different from the ancient charm of Ares. Steve Trevor was a rogue, and he knew it. Within weeks, Diana had fallen for him and had decided to accompany him back to the outside world.
“Angel or devil? You’ve got the traits of both,” he said one day as she listened to his stories.
“I have many qualities,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
As soon as she learned of her daughter’s plans, Hippolyta refused to allow Diana to make such a trip. The queen of the Amazons had named the island Sanctuary because she saw it as a refuge from all that was dark and hateful. She saw it as a haven from the life she herself had lived when she served Ares as a warrior queen. Thus she announced a compromise — she would hold a grand contest, and the winner would take Steve Trevor back to his world.
Diana nearly destroyed the palace gardens when Hippolyta announced that her special gifts made her ineligible for the contest. “Diana, you are their princess!” she told her. “You cannot be a contestant with our subjects!”
“Then I renounce my title — I wish to go!” she had shouted before stomping off.
Diana almost wept with her rage and fury until a soft voice soothed her tears. “What plight brings you to tears, my child?” cooed Circe in tones that had seduced Ulysses eons before.
Looking up at her old mentor, Diana explained it all. “Mother refuses to let me enter the contest, but I must go with Steve,” she vowed. “If I lose him, I shall die!”
Circe smiled and caressed her hair. “My magicks can solve that problem. Would I fail thee, my pretty?”
Thus the contest was held amidst splendor and pageantry, and in time two women remained. Both were striking blondes, and both had displayed superior skills in every area.
A final contest was ordered in which they would try to display skills in the event called bullets and bracelets. The guns had come from the outside world through means unknown or at least unrevealed to Diana. Hippolyta frowned as she watched the event. It was not like Diana to obey her commands so readily, but the two blonde women looked nothing like her dark daughter.
The first contestant stood ready. Her name was Mala, and she bravely received the weapon fire with swiftness and skill as she deflected the bullets on her gleaming bracelets. All Amazons had worn such bracelets since their first arrival on the isle long ago. They represented their loving submission to Aphrodite.
The taller blonde took her position with a haughty toss of her head and a defiant fire in her dark eyes. Hippolyta shivered as she gazed upon her. She was not known to the queen, but over the eons the Amazons had occasionally given shelter to some of their ancient sisters or their descendants who had not joined the main group during their fabled exodus.
The woman smiled coldly as the gun was raised and fired. Her hands flashed with amazing speed, and she deflected the bullet precisely toward Mala, who gasped and reacted too late. The demure blonde fell wounded, and victory went to the cocky taller blonde, whose magicks then swiftly faded to reveal the smug features of Princess Diana.
Hippolyta gasped and rose in her seat in shock. As Mala was carried off for treatment, she strode down to the field and confronted her errant daughter. “How dare you use the dark arts to enter this contest against my orders!” she hissed. “And how have you learned such foul arts?”
Diana said, “Circe transformed me. She has long been my friend and more of a mother to me than you could ever be.”
Hippolyta grabbed her arm. “Diana, I order you to remain here. You injured Mala deliberately, didn’t you?”
Diana grinned. “Yes! I always wanted to slap that insipid little thing’s head off!” She twisted and removed Hippolyta’s hand. “And do not challenge me again!” she said in a cold voice.
Hippolyta stared at her in shock for a moment, then suddenly said, “If you leave this isle, you are no daughter of mine and certainly no princess of the Amazons.”
Diana smiled again and took her tiara off. “Take it. And take these as well!” she shouted, removing her bracelets. Gasps echoed from those around her.
“You risk madness by removing your bracelets!” warned Hippolyta.
“I welcome madness!” she cried out. “It is superior to the pale imitation of life you live here.”
She walked off, renouncing her heritage and her mother. She took the man named Trevor and soared skyward in a plane stolen from the isle’s fleet. From that moment onward, she would never look back.
Diana and Steve Trevor made their way across the ocean through mists that concealed her former home. She felt no regrets and only thought of the dangerous and exciting future that awaited her.
“Steve, tell me more about this Arnoldtown, D.C., in which you dwell,” she said.
He grinned and said, “It was named for our first national leader, Benedict Arnold, and it’s where my Air Force base is located. I was doing some private work when my plane went down. I supply arms to rebel groups in third world countries. Not everyone is too pleased with that.”
She said, “In your world, my power would enable me to subdue any foe of yours. We shall dominate this America.”
He kissed her and said, “Yeah — I was tired of taking orders, anyway. My own private coup sounds pretty sweet to me.”
She nodded, relishing their time together. Her emotions surged, and for a moment she wondered if she was experiencing the dreaded madness promised for all who removed their bracelets. But she resisted the idea, dismissing it as more of her mother’s fearfulness. She piloted the invisible plane well and landed outside Arnoldtown, where she concealed it within an old barn.
“Shall I slay your leaders and force your peers to crown you ruler?” she asked.
He laughed and said, “Angel, I like the way you think, but let’s play it careful for now. You stay here, and I’ll check in at the base. I’ll be back soon.”
She slammed her fist through the wooden wall of the barn. “Wait? I am eager to experience this new world!” she shouted. “Never presume to tell me what to do!”
He drew back timidly, and in his eyes she saw fear. She placed one hand to her brow and said, “I am unwell. I shall wait for you.”
Steve Trevor hurried off, and then something whispered to Diana — some instinct, some inner voice, some hidden demon drove her to follow him secretly. She bounded effortlessly over the rooftops and reached a small house. “This does not look like a base or military compound, unless these Americans are fools,” she said.
Peering through a window, she saw Trevor in the arms of a woman with dark hair and glasses. Diana exploded through the window and slapped the woman aside. In doing so, she noticed a faint resemblance between Trevor’s bride and herself.
“You cur!” she shouted. “How dare you betray me? This wench is your mate — I see the evidence all around you!”
Trevor said, “Hold it, Angel. I didn’t know how to tell you about her. She’s my wife.”
Diana ignored the meek woman’s cries as she grew angry, and her passion led her into violence. Trevor couldn’t flee, nor could he fight back. She had broken him like a rag doll in moments, and she whirled to face his fleeing wife. She jumped across the room and caught her up in powerful arms that crushed her spine, and she soon cast her aside like a broken toy.
“Curse you, Aphrodite!” Diana cried out. “Curse you for the pain you’ve brought me! I shall never love again!”
She hesitated for a moment but then rushed out of the house, leaving the bodies of Steve and Diana Prince Trevor behind her as symbols of her own damaged and shattered psyche.
Later, she flew over America and thought over her options. “I shall never return to Sanctuary Isle. Perhaps I should devote my time to destroying this nation that Steve served. That would be fitting,” she mused.
And so she did just that. She began a rampage that made her one of the nation’s top enemies, and the media dubbed her Superwoman — a female version of Nietzsche’s Superman. In time, she gained the golden lariat of Proteus, which allowed her to shape it according to her commands. She soon gained allies in the Crime Syndicate, and she eventually lost her plane in battle with Alexander Luthor, but those were tales for another time.
Hippolyta couldn’t stand to watch any more of her child’s history. She turned to the magic sphere and once more ordered it to show her the life that Diana might have led as a true Amazon princess and champion of her ideals. She watched and wept, her tears not so much for her Diana but for another now lost forever.
“Wonder Woman,” she whispered softly.